Spring 2013 Ski Testing
Ski testing, in all its different formats, is definitely one of the most enjoyable parts of the job. We’re involved in three different types of ski testing: to decide on equipment to be stocked; to train staff on new equipment, and to let customers try the products we carry. This spring has seen us involved in all of these elements. (We’ll cover each test in more depth with specific ski reviews and extra information over the next 3 weeks.
Back in February we sent a team of 6 experienced testers to the Ski Industries of Great Britain Ski Test, held at Kuhtai in the Austrian Tirol. This test is focused on range selection and involves us trying many different skis from suppliers both big and small. There was no shortage of snow, and the sun didn’t let us down either. By the end of the week we had nailed an impressive amount of skis and selected what will be a fantastic range of skis for next season.
By April we were ready for our annual Staff Training Ski Test. This year we headed for Hintertux in the Austrian Tirol to take advantage of the amazing spring conditions and get Ellis Brigham staff from all around the country on snow to try out next seasons skis. The Tirolean Spring didn't let us down, with beautiful soft conditions, blue skies, and lovely, warm temperatures. 5 days of testing ensured everyone tried the range, meaning there’ll be someone with first-hand knowledge of the skis in virtually any EB store.
But we weren’t finished at the end of the Staff Test. We then took a van of equipment and techs over to Val Thoren, France to meet the Snowheads online community for 2 days of ski testing in almost perfect conditions. 30cm's of fresh snow with no crowds, and a good display from the sun, was the ideal way to finish the spring testing season. Getting extra consumer feedback just reinforced our opinions of the 13/14 selection, helping identify the big 'winners' and also confirming the 'surprise packages'.
This commitment to testing helps ensure that we have the right skis for the right skiers, backed up by accurate information and knowledgeable staff. And if that isn't enough we also carry big ranges of demo skis in each of our indoor snow centre stores for customers to try anytime during shop hours. We also arrange big multi-brand demo events at the start of the season, and hold demo days at Scottish resorts such as Glencoe and Cairngorm. There’s no-one else in the UK with that kind of commitment to providing the right equipment, advice and opportunities to demo.